The language of cause and effect is critical to IELTS – both in writing and speaking. The reason for this is that it helps answers the question “Why?” and allows you to give an extended and coherent answer. This post gives you some basic variations to try.
Before you start, try this quick quiz to see what you know. Can you find the common learner mistakes?
Obviously the word you will use most is “because” but there are some useful variations.
- “because” , ‘as a result”and “as a consequence” are used with a verb and “because of”,”as a result of” and “as a consequence of” with a noun
- some people believe you shouldn’t start sentences with “because”. This is rubbish but in the exam it may be sensible not to do it
- “due to” is normally used with negative situations and “thanks to with “positive situations”
A useful variation is to use “because” as a verb. Here are the 3 main variations
- you cause something to happen but it results in something happening
Other related verbs
These verbs can also sometimes be used to describe cause and effect
- please note the spelling of “affect” as a verb and do not confuse it with “effect” the noun. Just to confuse you, the pronunciation is identical
The essential nouns are of course “cause” and “effect’ but there are alternatives here;
- you talk about the cause of something but the reason for it
Test yourself again
To see whether you can use this language correctly, I suggest you try these two quick exercises: